Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Three Videos on the Law Of The Heart

After that short section on Pleasure and Necessity (and I do have another post coming soon, discussing Hegel's treatment of hedonism in that portion of the text), we now have a longer and more complex section - The Law of the Heart and the Frenzy of Self-Conceit.

What Hegel is exploring and examining is a new shape of consciousness, one that he views as particular to modern times in the West.  In the earlier portions of this "Actualization of Self-Consciousness" part of the Reason section, Hegel narrated for us how rational self-consciousness extricated itself from what he had called the "ethical substance" - the culture and community to which the individual belongs, seemingly complete with its laws, mores, and customs, its Sitte.

Self-consciousness tried out an individualism of pleasure-seeking and found it empty.  Now it is going to look within, to its own sentiments, and find a "law of the heart", a law that calls for being externalized, actualized, in and against the social space in which that individual - and all the other ones as well - lives out its existence.  How well will that new project go?  Well, you'll have to see. . .

Here are the first three videos for this section:

Friday, December 2, 2016

A New Perk for Supporters of the Project

I've been dying to share some cool news about the Half Hour Hegel project - specifically about a new perk I've been developing for the supporters of the project - and now I can finally spill the proverbial beans!

We've created an online academy for ReasonIO (my company), using the Teachable platform.  The first class that I published is a free course on Epictetus' Enchiridion.  I just now published the second class - a course site for the Half Hour Hegel project.

This new course lists for $175, but it is FREE for all Patreon supporters of the Half Hour Hegel project.  That's right: anyone who supports the project, even at the $1-per-video level (usually $6 per month) gets full lifetime access to the course site!

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Pleasure and Necessity Videos

The sub-section, "Actualization of Rational Self-Consciousness Through Its Own Activity", is considerably shorter than the previous sub-section (Observing Reason) of the massive Reason section of the Phenomenology of Spirit.  But, in my view, it's even more interesting and important.  (I'll admit that I do have a bit of a bias in favor of practical philosophy, as opposed to the merely speculative or theoretical).

After working his way through some introductory - but very important - dialectical developments (for instance, bringing up the relationship between the individual rational self-consciousness and the "ethical substance" of the community), we're now in the first of the three main dialectics of this section.  This one is called "Pleasure and Necessity" - but as I point out in the commentary videos, it's one of the strangest treatments of pleasure you're going to find in philosophical literature (you'll actually see just as many references to "pleasure" in the section that follows ("The Law of the Heart and the Frenzy of Self Conceit")

Here are the commentary videos for this first section - Pleasure and Necessity.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

November Public Hegel Q&A Session Later Today

We've been making some good progress through the Phenomenology - particularly the Reason section, whose second portion we're now working through.  And, it's high time for another public online Q&A session.  This time I wanted to give a bit of notice ahead of time, but as it turns out, it's today. . . 

We're thinking, by the way, of moving away from Google Hangouts for hosting these sessions and towards a better platform - most likelyFreeConferenceCall.com, which we've used for other interactions, e.g. my online classes.

In any case, later on today - 5-6 PM Central (i.e. Chicago) Time, I'll be holding the Q&A session via Google Hangouts, as usual.  I'll post the link for the Hangout once it's opened in several locations - my Patreon page, my Facebook author page, in Google+, and in Twitter. So, if you want to participate, you'll need to check at least one of those around the time the Hangout started.

Sunday, November 13, 2016

How Much Background Do You Need?

One of the Hegel-related blogs I read regularly is The Empyrean Trail, written by Anthony Wolf, who also goes by the pleasingly fanciful moniker of A.W. Hegel.  I like what I've read so far, and a recent piece - An anecdote on the myth that Hegel is impossible without background - has spurred me to do some thinking, and as you can see here, a bit of writing today.

He's raising a very important question, one that does come up from time to time as comments on the Half Hour Hegel videos - just how much preparation does one need in order to be able to successfully read and understand G.W.F. Hegel's works?  Here's how Anthony puts it:
One of the most annoying points I encounter repeatedly when it comes to engaging Hegel for a newcomer is the repetition that Hegel is very, VERY, difficult. So difficult, in fact, that if you have not had at least four years of your life dealing with learning at least the continental movement from Hume to Kant to Fichte to Schelling to… ever increasing background qualifications, you have no hope in properly understanding anything Hegel has to say. That’s not even counting the difficulty of learning Hegel’s terminology itself and the obscure logic of dialectics. So… just hold on until you’ve made it through undergrad, there is no shame in admitting that Hegel is too hard for you.